In perusing the most recent Bon Appetit, I earmarked a recipe called “Glazed Pork Ribs with Shichimi Togarashi.” This is not the story of those ribs — although they sounded delicious. I was intrigued by the technique used — placing lemon, rosemary, and garlic between two racks of ribs before you wrap them up to tenderize a bit. Since the hubby isn’t a fan of the lemon/rosemary combo, I started imagining how orange and fresh basil might work. Hmmm… very Italian, I thought. So why not some Balsamic BBQ sauce?
Did all of this free association produce results? Friends, get ready to drool…
After I removed the membrane from my St. Louis spare ribs and smothered them in a mix of Dijon and yellow mustard, they were ready for a rub. Since I had so many other flavors in play with the prep and sauce, I decided to keep it basic (but spicy):
Kick Your Cayenne Rub
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup crushed black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup onion powder
- 2 tbsps garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
I had my Big Green Egg set up for indirect heat at around 400 degrees — a little higher than usual since I had gotten off to a late start and my friend Jason would be arriving at 6 pm expecting some dinner. Total cook time for these ribs was 2.5 hours and they turned out plenty tender so I am going to give it to you like I cooked it. Feel free to steal the prep method and use your own preferred temp/time combination. I put the ribs on the grill and left them alone for an hour.
While they were cooking up, I prepared my aromatics — one thinly sliced medium orange, 6-8 sprigs of fresh basil, and two large sliced garlic cloves.
I also prepped my wrap — a sheet of foil with a sheet of parchment paper on top — and rubbed it down with some butter and honey.
I placed a rack of ribs on the wrap (bone side up) and put the aromatics on top.
Then I placed the other rack on top, bone side down. It kind of resembled a Flintstone-like sandwich.
A quick slathering of softened butter and a drizzle of honey on top and I was ready to wrap up. I placed a sheet of parchment paper on top and rolled up all of the edges to seal.
A sheet of foil on top and a quick wrap and we were ready to go back to the Egg.
They stayed there for another hour, steaming up and smelling good. Meanwhile, I got my sauce ready.
Balsamic BBQ Sauce
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and ground pepper
Heat all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
After time was up, I pulled the ribs off and unwrapped them. Heavenly.
Now they were ready to go back on the grill and get glazed with that lovely sauce. I left them on for 30 minutes and glazed them every 10 minutes.
I took the ribs off and let them rest for a few minutes while I grilled some romaine hearts and topped with artichoke hearts, sliced salami, and a honey mustard vinaigrette. We sliced a good chunk off for each of us and proceeded to dig in.
In keeping with the theme, I had both cold Peroni and Moretti beer on hand. After sampling both (and maybe some Stella, too) we all agreed that the Peroni was the better Italian beer.
This was definitely one of my favorite recipes on the egg so far so I hope you give it a try. If so, let me know how it goes. Ciao, y’all!